Member Code of Conduct



(Revised 5-17-05)



San Francisco Tsunami Swim Club (the “Team”) has established standards for the behavior of Team members. Adherence to these standards is required for membership in the Team. The Board of Directors has discretion to determine when persons have violated the Code of Conduct and to take disciplinary actions, including terminating membership.




General Standard

Because the Team’s purpose is to promote excellence and sportsmanship in swimming and the behavior of Team members reflects on the Team as a whole , in their interactions with each other, with members of other athletic teams, and with members of the general public, Team members are expected to behave in accordance with commonly accepted standards of decency and respect for others.



The Team is committed to providing an atmosphere of healthy sportsmanship free of any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment (which includes harassment based on gender, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), and harassment based on such factors as race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, family care or medical leave status, or veteran status.

The Team strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate harassment of members by members. Similarly, the Team will not tolerate harassment by its members of non-members with whom Team members come into contact (e.g., at competitions, sharing locker rooms, at Team-sponsored social events, etc.).

Harassment includes verbal or physical (contact and non-contact) conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment or that interferes with an atmosphere of healthy sportsmanship. Such conduct constitutes harassment when: (1) submission to the conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of membership; (2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for a membership decision; or (3) the harassment interferes with a member’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

The following may constitute harassment. This is not an exclusive list:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Hitting
  • Name-calling


Pool Etiquette

Pool etiquette is essential to team functioning. Pool etiquette makes best use of limited pool space and maximizes the opportunity of each swimmer to experience enjoyable and focused workouts. Swimmers who do not or cannot observe pool etiquette may be barred from the team (see grievance procedure, below).

Members should observe the following pool etiquette guidelines:

  • Abide by all pool safety rules (no jumping or diving into the pool at the shallow end, no running on deck, etc.).
  • Listen quietly during the announcements at the beginning of practice; do not talk to people around you.
  • Your place in the lane order should reflect the speed that you intend to swim. In other words, if you choose to go last – even though you are faster than others – do not swim on top of the person in front of you.
  • Be a responsible lane leader: Make sure you tell your lane mates when you are going to leave for a set (e.g., “I’m leaving on the 30”).
  • When you are pushing off the wall, leave five seconds between yourself and the swimmer in front of you at a minimum. When possible, swimmers should leave 10 seconds between themselves and the swimmer in front of them. If you find yourself catching up to the person, slow down and give him/her room.
  • When you finish an interval, move to the left and away from the wall so that there is space for the people behind you to finish at the wall. Similarly, if you sit out an interval, do not stand at the end of the lane. Standing at the end of the lane blocks people coming in for turns. Instead, stop and move to the left corner at the end of the lane or get out of the pool.
  • If a set starts at the deep end, move as far as possible to the left so people coming in behind you don’t have to tread water or hang on the lane lines. Each time a person leaves the wall, everyone else should move to the left until everyone has a hand holding onto the wall.
  • Inform your lane mates when you are going to switch to a slower or faster stroke (e.g., free to back or breast to fly).
  • During sets where you repeat short or middle distances, if you want to go ahead of someone, ask him/her in between intervals. Do not try to pass someone in the middle of an interval.
  • On distance sets, if you want to pass the person in front of you, gently tap his/her foot and wait for him/her to stop at the next wall.
  • If someone taps your foot, stop and move to the left corner at the end of the lane. This way, s/he will have a space at the wall to do a flip turn while s/he passes you.
  • Don’t interrupt a swimmer’s rhythm by jumping in ahead of him/her when s/he is coming into the
  • If you stop to let someone pass, you must also let everyone else pass who is swimming closely behind that person.
  • If you have to leave practice in the middle of a set, make sure that you inform your lane mates.


Grievance Procedure

It is the responsibility of Team members to bring to the attention of a member of the Board of Directors any grievance or complaint that they might have with regard to another member of Tsunami, pool staff, or other persons.



If at any point a Team member feels that he or she is in physical danger, he or she should immediately contact the police by dialing 911.


Grievances Against Non-Team Members

Should a member feel that he or she is being treated in a manner that is offensive and/or threatening by someone who is not a member of the Team at a Team sponsored function, social event or practice, the member should immediately inform a coach, a board member or a City employee (where the incident occurs on City property). Members should avoid interaction with offending parties until a coach, Board member or City employee can be contacted. When involving a City employee, wherever possible, members should employ the help of two staff members at the time that the incident is reported.


Grievances Against Team Members

A Team member who believes that another member’s behavior constitutes a violation of this Code of Conduct should file a grievance. Members are urged to make grievances in writing; however, the Board may initiate an investigation based upon a verbal complaint.

Members may file grievances with the Board confidentially. The member’s name will be shared with other Board members but not with other team members. The Board may appoint a Grievance Committee (which is a subcommittee of the Board) to address grievances. Correspondence regarding incidents will be placed in a grievance file to be kept by the team Secretary.

The Board will investigate all grievances and seek corroborating information, including getting the perspective of persons against whom grievances are lodged. If the Board in its discretion finds evidence of misconduct, the Board will warn the member who has violated the Code of Conduct that a complaint has been received and that the member should modify his or her behavior accordingly.

If a second complaint is lodged against a Team member within six (6) months of the first complaint, and if, after investigation, the Board determines in its discretion that there is evidence of another incident of misconduct, the Board may suspend the offending member from the Team for six (6) months.

A third complaint of misconduct within six (6) months of the member’s return from suspension may result in termination of membership.

Where the Board judges an incident to be disruptive to an individual team member or to the team as a whole, the Board reserves the right to terminate a Team member’s membership privileges at any time during the warning process.

One (1) year following the termination of a Team member’s membership, the terminated member may petition the Board for reinstatement. The Board may reinstate the member if, in the Board discretion, this is warranted by the facts and circumstances.


Impartiality of Process

The Board of Directors should make every effort to ensure that there is no actual or apparent favoritism or partiality in the investigation of grievances or subsequent disciplinary actions. Therefore, any Board member who has filed a grievance against a team member or who for any other reason might be regarded as other than impartial with respect to that team member may not serve on the Grievance Committee investigating that member and should recuse him or herself from any votes on disciplinary action.


Authority to Investigate and Make Decisions

The authority to investigate grievances and make decisions belongs to the Board of Directors as a whole and not to any single board member or representative of the board, though the Board may delegate responsibility for making investigations to individual Board members.



A Team member who wishes to appeal a decision regarding the Code of Conduct should do so by writing to the President of the Board. The appeal will be forwarded to the Grievance Committee or the Board as a whole for review. The Board of Directors will decide, in its discretion, whether reconsideration of the case is appropriate.

Mark Dorshkind

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© 2013 San Francisco Tsunami